Why data's safe in the cloud labyrinth

Posted by Peter Cochrane on March 11, 2010

11 Mar 2009, Peter Cochrane, www.360itevent.com

When I give presentations, or orchestrate sessions, on The Cloud, the same set of questions and challenges pop up as regular as clockwork. Two that amuse me most are: "I need to know where my bits are stored" and "I need to know where the hardware is". My retort is always the same: do you know where your banking, medical, insurance, legal (etc) bits are? Do you know where the servers are? Do you even care or worry about them? Of course no one knows or cares - they just trust their institutions!

Another big concern voiced is: "The Cloud can never be secure." My contention is it can provide the ultimate security. Think multiple clouds all interconnected. Then think of the analogy of a burglar. He goes to a door, picks the lock, gains entry and finds himself in a room (cloud 1), confronted with 10 more doors and nothing of very real value worth stealing. Which door to choose? Picking a door at random he starts his work again, and just as he gets close to opening this second door there is a "click... whirr..." behind him as ‘door 1’ is closed and someone changes the lock.

Our burglar has no idea where he is in this network of clouds. He has no idea where the ‘crown jewels’ are stored. But he does know he is (metaphorically) trapped in a world that looks incredibly complex where he is flying blind. At this point all the doors change colour and position, and the locks are all changed once more.

By now I’m sure you get the idea. The Cloud can be incredibly confounding and inherently secure.